nest flight

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I've got about a month. Well, a little over a month, but February almost doesn't count. A month until I pack up my life, leave behind friends, familly, and Texas, and move to Chicago. I will always have a home here of course, and I'm not relocating to rural China or something, but this is a big step. It's strange to think of how the time, the time of "moving out", seemed so far away once, but now it's as if one blink of mine equals a week passing by.

My life is about to change in a big way, and all I can do (besides prepare, obviously) is wait. Wait, for the forward motion of time. Wait and slowly move my things around and eventually into boxes. Wait on a landing strip and set foot from a plane into Chicago snow. Wait and fall asleep in my bed, on my first night in my new apartment. Wait and take notes again as I sit in my first class of graduate school. Wait...

The emotions I have at the moment are nothing like in the months before I went off to college, but they are similar in an unsettling way. The nerves are a familiar friend, but consider them matured - hang on, I consciously and sanely decided to pursue more education?  You enjoy your student loan payment? How about moving to a big ole city where you kind of know about three people? It's not just the logistics of moving from Texas to Chicago, either. Is it that I'm unsettled that I'm about to be...well, resettled?

I'm counting on my brief adventure across the pond to ease the shock of urban dwelling. If I can successfully fend off a fast-talking, probable human-trafficking Abu Dhabi man, surely I can handle another city. Mostly, I'm excited about all that Chicago has to offer. Anywhere from food to people (clearly my only priorities in life), I'm counting on some inspirational exposure.

Yes, I might die of frostbite and will pine for a Texan summer when I am shivering under a ridiculously heavy coat as the wind off Lake Michigan tries to blow me back down south. Did I mention I'll be living in a studio apartment, in an attempt to fully realize my dramatic transformation into a starving-creative-grad-student-type persona (but really, I'm actually poor)? Consider the woes of rural folk moving to the city. I could very well be mugged or frequently misunderstood because of my 'accent'. But the second I start referring to a sandwich as 'sammich' non-ironically, I'm packing up and hightailin' it back down south.

None of us really like change until the initial shock wears off and we can see the beneficial results. It's not far from how we cried when our mothers left us at kindergarten on the first day of school, but then couldn't wait to go back the next day. I've grown accustomed to living with my parents again, and as someone who really loves and enjoys my family, I have no doubts I'll be homesick--I'm a total homebody anyway. It will be a bittersweet departure, but I know I am ready. I've been ready. And, for the rest of my life, I want to chase that feeling - the challenge, the growth, the unfamiliarity, the unsettling.



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